All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 1/12/2017
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: January 12, 2017
Guest: Bernie Sanders, Sean Spicer, Adam Schiff; Chris Murphy; Matthew
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ALL IN HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does President Putin like what he sees so far?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no doubt that yes.
HAYES: New reporting, new denials, and so many more questions about the
President-elect, the intelligence community and Russia. Tonight, what we
know and what we don`t.
Then, investigating Comey. Breaking news on a Justice Department
investigation into the handling of the Clinton e-mail probe.
Plus, Bernie Sanders on the overnight vote to repeal ObamaCare. A time
Elizabeth Warren and Ben Carson faced off at a confirmation hearing.
ELIZABETH WARREN, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS: Dr. Carson,
I`m actually trying to ask a more pointed question.
HAYES: And surprising Joe Biden.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am pleased to award our
nation`s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
HAYES: An exit interview with the Vice President when ALL IN starts right
Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes, we are now eight days from
Donald Trump becoming President of the United States of America. And once
again tonight, we are faced with an absolute deluge of major seismic and
important news. It is an extraordinary time we begin tonight with the
story that is dominating the national conversation, one in which we are
finally perhaps starting to get a little more clarity. But remains at this
hour, a story that is maddeningly hard to pin down despite the nearly
Speak, of course, of the saga surrounding the decision to include a two-
page summary in briefing materials for President Obama and President-elect
Trump of a now infamous, salacious, and unverified 35-page dossier alleging
that the Russian government possesses compromising material about the
incoming President-elect and that Trump`s team and the Russian government
exchanged information during the Presidential campaign.
Multiple sources tell NBC News those materials were not presented to Trump
during the formal briefing, but sources say that right afterward, FBI
Director James Comey took Trump aside and spoke with him one on one about
the existence of the unverified allegations against him and also told him a
summary of those claims was included in an addendum to the top-secret
report. Today, Vice President Joe Biden said intelligence officials told
him they felt obliged to inform the President and Vice President of the
materials in part because they were concerned they would become public.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was it a mistake for the intelligence community to
even include that unverified opposition research, disinformation material,
the two-paged addendum even included in the briefing papers.
JOE BIDEN, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA VICE-PRESIDENT: We asked that question
and their argument was that this is something that the press already had.
Not just here in the United States, but other places. That it would be –
they would be – they didn`t use the word derelict, but it was their
obligation to inform not only us, but the President-elect that this was out
there. So, that it didn`t come out of the blue and have any impact on the
conduct of our foreign policy. They were clear that they just mentioned
it, they made no judgment about it, they did not say any of this was
substantiated, but they felt it was obliged.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We will have much more of that exclusive interview later in the
show. We now know the dossier was prepared initially at the behest of
anti-Trump republicans by a former British Intelligence officer Christopher
David Steele who NBC News partner I-TV reports was posted to Moscow in 1990
and who has now reportedly gone into hiding to avoid attention or possible
retribution. Asked by NBC News if Russian intelligence agencies have
anything on Trump, a Vladimir Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov pleaded
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have your intelligence agencies got anything on Donald
DMITRY PESCOV, RUSSIAN SPOKESMAN: I`ve never seen the file.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With respect, that`s not a complete denial.
PESCOV: I do not work in intelligence agencies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: At his news conference yesterday, Trump said uncategorically, the
information in the dossier was false.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It`s all fake news. It`s phony stuff. It didn`t happen. And it
was gotten by opponents of ours as you know because you reported it, and so
did many of the other people, it was a group of opponents that got
together, sick people, and they put that crap together. Does anyone really
believe that story? I`m also very much of a Germophobe, by the way,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Trump spoke on the phone yesterday with James Clapper, the Director
of National Intelligence who said he expressed his dismay to Trump that the
information had been leaked, that he did not believe the leak did not come
– he believed the leak did not come from the Intelligence Community.
Trump then tweeted today, quote, “James clapper called me yesterday to
denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated.
Made up phony facts. Too bad.” But clapper is telling a different story.
He is not deeming the information false as Trump suggested, but rather
suggesting the Intelligence Community does not know if it is true or not.
According to Clapper “The Intelligence Community has not made any judgment
that the information in this document is reliable and we did not rely upon
it in any way for our conclusions. However, part of our obligation is to
ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of
any matters that might affect national security.” Included in that dossier
was the potentially explosive claim the Trump camp had coordinated with the
Russians during the campaign. A claim that Trump spokesman Sean Spicer
today flatly denied on a phone call with reporters.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY NOMINEE (via telephone): In the
Trump campaign and the Russian government and any suggestion otherwise is
totally irresponsible. Politics shouldn`t play a role in our intelligence
efforts and our intelligence efforts shouldn`t play a role in our politics.
HAYES: And then there is this potential bombshell. The Guardian citing
unnamed sources reporting that the FBI applied for a warrant from the
secret FISA court over the summer, in order to monitor four members of the
Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials. But
that the FISA court, which turns down very few applications, turned down
the application asking FBI counter-intelligence investigators to narrow its
focus. Another report from election night claims the FBI sought and was
granted a FISA court warrant in October after narrowing the scope of its
NBC News has not confirmed the FISA court claims if that is true, it means
while that while it was publicly discussing its politically damaging
investigation of Hillary Clinton, the FBI was simultaneously investigating
Trump`s team over possible ties to Russia while managing to keep that
investigation a total secret. Joining me now, New York Times political
reporter and MSNBC contributor Nick Confessore co-author of the new report
on “How the sensational dossier became a crisis for Trump”. This is such a
bizarre story because at the center of it, is a document which has now been
made public whose charges are wildly – you know, they`re massively
scandalous, if true, but also whose truth content we have no ability to
NICK CONFESSORE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Right and possibly no way of judging
in the future. So the important thing to realize is this began with a
republican donor who`s still a mystery, by the way, who wants some
information on Trump`s business ties in Russia and other matters,
HAYES: As a kind of opposition process?
CONFESSORE: Yes, yes. And commissioned a research firm in Washington.
And there`s a little sub-world of research firms that do this, people have
heard of “Oppo”, this is high-end “oppo”. This is really good research.
But it often goes beyond just public records. It can involve hiring
private eyes. And they –
HAYES: This is not - just to be clear, this is not a 26-year-old digging
through a Courthouse in Florida. This is retired intelligence officials?
CONFESSORE: Right. It can be. Right. And so, that firm Fusion GPS
subcontracted out to Christopher Steele, the former British spy. He then
asked his contacts in Russia and elsewhere and assembled what he was told
back into this dossier or into these report, which has then made their way
back to the client. At some point, some democrats, people who were pro-
Clinton were involved in picking up the baton of either funding or seeing
CONFESSORE: The republican donor backed away because of Trump being the
nominee of the party. So from that point on -
HAYES: Stop right there, though. So, you mean Trump said it`s a bunch of
sick guys that got together. I mean, this was one individual that
basically hired a firm that then subcontracted – Does that – how does
that baton get passed? Like, hey, you want the Russian dossier? Like –
CONFESSORE: It`s not entirely clear to me. You know, at some point the
contents began to be circulated among reporters in Washington. A version
of it was actually reported on by a David Corn of Mother Jones in October.
HAYES: We should say, without the most salacious and sensational claims.
CONFESSORE: Yes. Some operative that I`ve talked to had seen - had seen
or heard about it in late July, but you know, as you pointed out, it was
very hard to verify the contents.
HAYES: Now, just to be clear, Christopher Steele – I mean, my sense from
the reporting I have seen and people that, you know, again, work in
intelligence, this is not – how to put this – this is not someone
considered a kook or a nut or – you know, anyone can be an ex-spy right
and they could completely lose their mind or whatever. This person –
doesn`t mean that anything in there is true, but the person has a degree of
credibility among people in intelligence.
CONFESSORE: That`s right. People regard him as real. But the question
is, is the intelligence real?
CONFESSORE: And we can`t answer that. He is as good as his sources and we
are as good as we know what`s in there. And I think what you saw was that
the report kind of make its way around Washington and reporters of various
organizations had –
HAYES: Tried to (INAUDIBLE) down
CONFESSORE: – and they couldn`t.
HAYES: So now we stand with you know, is the incoming President a turned
foreign asset or is he being libeled essentially in one of the most
egregious fashions ever? Shrug.
CONFESSORE: And if - and it`s possible - and it`s possible that if it`s
fictive, that it is also the -
HAYES: That`s a good one. All right. Nick Confessore, thank you for your
time tonight. Really appreciate it.
CONFESSORE: Of course.
HAYES: And joining me now, Congressman Adam Schiff, who is the ranking
member of the House Intelligence Committee. And Congressman, thank you for
joining me. The reason I wanted to talk to you, is that you are one of
only about a dozen people due to your position on that Intelligence
Committee who gets to access the most highly-classified briefings and
obviously, you can never talk at all about what you see in there, but I
would love your guidance as we on the outside of this, attempt to figure
out what is going on. Donald Trump saying that there is a determination
made about the intelligence contained in that dossier, Director of National
Intelligence saying there was none. What should we think?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) CALIFORNIA: Well, I would go with the Director of
National Intelligence. Unfortunately, the President-elect has demonstrated
that you really can`t rely on what he says in his tweets and you can`t rely
on what he says in his press statements either and the best illustration of
that was when the Intelligence Community released a public report about the
Russian hacking, the Trump organization put out a statement from President-
elect saying that it showed that there was no effect on the outcome of the
But, of course, that`s not at all what the report said. In fact, that
would be well beyond the scope of what the Intelligence Community can
assess. Instead, it said merely that there was no tampering with the vote-
counting machines, but plainly, the daily dumping of documents targeting
Secretary Clinton had an effect. We may never know whether it was
determinative or not, but plainly had an effect. So, you couldn`t rely on
what the President-elect said about the report. I don`t think you can rely
on what the President-elect said about his conversation with Director
Clapper and the Director`s statement made it very clear that they have made
no judgment on the reliability of those documents from that private
HAYES: One of the things Director Clapper did say in the beginning of that
statement was expressing his frustration, regret, anger, even I believe,
about the leaks. And I have to say, wouldn`t you agree that it is
fundamentally in some senses unfair to the reputation of the individual
who`s about to take the oath of office that there`s now this kind of cloud
of suspicion that hangs over him due in part to this leak?
SCHIFF: I think the director was exactly right. Not only to point out in
his statement that these leaks are corrosive in effect but to call the
President-elect and say that he does not believe this is the Intelligence
Community that was responsible for the leak, and that this is very
damaging. It`s obviously not only damaging in terms of the President-elect
and his reputation, but also its damaging just to the trust between the
President-elect and Intelligence Community, which started out at a low ebb
but, you know, what - you know, what concerns me the most, frankly, beyond
reputation and beyond anything else frankly is what are the facts here?
And who is going to investigate all of the aspects of Russian interference
in our political affairs?
Because I think frankly, the investigation ought to follow the facts
wherever they lead and the Russians have used a whole variety of tactics,
everything from blackmail to extortion to the funding of extremist parties
to Europe to hacking, to dumping, to dumping of forged documents. I put
nothing past the Russians and we ought to have a bipartisan, non-partisan
commission like 9/11 investigate this.
HAYES: All right, Congressman Adam Schiff, as I said, ranking member on
the House Intelligence Committee. Thanks for your time tonight, I
SCHIFF: You bet. Thank you.
HAYES: Joining me now, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut,
member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And Senator, I guess I
just first want to get your reaction to this sort of series of stories we
have, the latest being that it was James Comey, we have sources saying,
actually, told the President-elect about to contents of this two-page
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, (D) CONNECTICUT: So I think it is appropriate for the
FBI or intelligence to tell him about it given the fact that it was likely
going to be leaked. I think here going to be accessed by the media. I
agree with Congressman Schiff that these leaks are damaging. But let`s be
honest, you know, everyone`s looking for a why here. Donald Trump has
invited much of this speculation upon himself because of this bizarre
isolationism of his positioning on Russia so far outside of the American
mainstream, this constant apology for Vladimir Putin and his allies, and
his nominees who in these confirmation hearings are basically lining up to
withdraw the sanctions that have been put on Russia over the last few
years. So, I –
HAYES: Let me – can I stop you there, though, Senator?
HAYES: I want your response to this. Because that sounds dangerously
close to saying the following: the ideological positions of this - of the
person who`s going to be the President of the United States are such that
they invite questions about his loyalty and they invite questions about
whether he is essentially a compromised asset of a foreign power.
MURPHY: No, that`s certainly not what I`m saying. I say they invite
questions as to the motive, when someone is this far outside of the
mainstream, when there`s really no good explanation for why you would be
seeking to cozy up to a vicious dictator who wishes us nothing but ill
will. People are searching for an explanation. Now, this is incredibly
thinly sourced and there`s nothing in it today that would give us
confidence that this, in fact, is the reason. But I think you can
understand why people are searching today because there`s a – there`s a –
it`s hard to draw a line from his position on Russia to a motive that we
see out in the open today.
HAYES: It does seem to me that something must be done in terms of further
fact-finding and some definitive accounting, because at this point the
current status quo seems completely untenable. People, you know, these
things out there and we`re all just sort of shrugging our shoulders. What
can you and the senate do, what can members of congress do, to provide some
sort of definitive judgment so that the public can know where things stand?
MURPHY: Well, I think this is made more difficult by the questions that
were asked of Director Comey earlier in the week. He has not been able to
disclose whether he is conducting an investigation. That would certainly
give people some confidence that the truth to the extent we can know what
will eventually be made known. But, frankly, congress over the years has
been pretty good at doing investigations. We haven`t done many recently
but this would certainly be something that the Intelligence Committee, the
Foreign Relations Committee, a bipartisan multi-committee, effort could
look into. So, somebody has got to do this work. If we`re not going to
know if it`s the FBI, then I would counsel the chairs of the Foreign
Relations Committee, the Intelligence Committee to convene their own panel.
HAYES: All right, Senator Chris Murphy, thanks for your time tonight.
MURPHY: Thanks a lot.
HAYES: Still to come, Senator Bernie Sanders joins me tonight. So, make
sure to stick around for that.
And next, the huge news today, a new investigation into the actions of the
Department, the FBI and James Comey, for their handling of the Clinton e-
mail probe leading up to the Presidential election. That`s right after
HAYES: A bombshell announcement today from the U.S. Inspector General as
his office, an independent entity, will investigate wide-ranging
allegations of misconduct related to the FBI`S probe into Hillary Clinton`s
e-mails. According to the Inspector General, including allegations the
Justice Department and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public
information, perhaps at the center of this investigation are the actions of
FBI Director James Comey, specifically his decision to hold a press
conference in July, recommending no charges for Clinton while castigating
at length her conduct, particularly for being quote “extremely careless”.
Comey`s now infamous letter to Congress on October 28, saying that he was
looking into new e-mails discovered on a laptop shared by Clinton aide Huma
Abedin and her husband Anthony Weiner. Comey then sent a second letter to
congress, this one two days before the election, saying that nothing new
had been found.
In a statement today, Comey said in part quote “I am grateful to the
Department of Justice`s I.G. for taking on this review. Everyone will
benefit from thoughtful evaluation and transparency regarding this matter.”
Now this investigation comes on the context of two things. One, the
mounting evidence that Comey`s letter politically damaged Clinton quite a
bit and did it less than two weeks before the election. As Princeton
neuroscientist Sam Wang who runs an election blog pointed out, last month
after the Comey letter, opinions swung toward Trump by four percentage
points and about half of this was a lasting change. And two, BBC
reporting, the FBI was part of a joint task force formed last April,
investigating allegations the Russians may have sent money to Mr. Trump`s
organization or his election campaign. Something that, rightly, never
leaked during the campaign. Joining me now, Matthew Miller former aide to
Attorney General Eric Holder, former Justice Department Spokesperson. Your
reaction to the announcement from the I.G. today Matt?
MATTHEW MILLER, FORMER AIDE TO ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: I`m glad
they`re doing it. I, in a lot of ways, wish they would have done it back
in July. One of the things, you know, hindsight is always 20/20, but it
was obvious in July that Director Comey`s press conference which really
kicked off the series of events, I think, led to him sending that October
letter. It`s obvious that press conference was completely inappropriate,
it violated several written Department of Justice rules and I just have to
wonder, had the Inspector General opened this type of investigation back in
July and started to look at Comey`s conduct, then whether it might have
given him pause before he sent that letter in October. That said, you
know, it`s – I`m glad he`s looking at it now if nothing else, you know,
hopefully what comes of this is you know, when he makes his findings,
future FBI directors, attorneys general, others in the Justice Department,
know that they cannot behave the way Comey did over the last six months.
HAYES: Yes, you were vocal in your – we had you on the show actually, I
believe the day of that press conference and you were vocal in saying it
violated rules, procedure and norms in terms of, you know, when an
investigation is closed without a finding that you are going to indict, you
just – that`s what you do. You don`t then essentially write an op-ed
about how you think the person at issue was – were conducting themselves.
MILLER: Right. You just be quiet. I mean, that`s your job and FBI agents
and prosecutors are always trained to do that and, you know, Director Comey
has come out and said that, “Well, this was a special case.” and you know,
he said that again in October, but these rules that are supposed to
prohibit you from talking are designed for special cases. You know, no one
cares if you just close an investigation down quietly of low-profile cases.
It`s written for these big important cases and, you know, you hear Comey
say, “Well I would have been criticized one way or the other.” And he
especially said that to FBI employees after the October letter. And, you
know, your job in these positions is to make the hard calls and if you get
criticized, well so what? I mean, that`s just what comes with the
HAYES: Now, there`s another sort of – there`s a related issue here and
one that you and I have spoken about before and one that I was - I
particularly was exorcized about, just seven weeks before the election,
which is not just specifically Comey`s conduct. But the leaks that
appeared to be coming around the investigation. We don`t know if they
actually emanated from within the FBI but there were folks, Rudy Giuliani
and then other folks on Fox saying all sorts of things, an indictment is
coming, there`s in the – this investigation, there`s that investigation,
they tried to shut down our investigation. Do you think we can get to the
bottom of what happened there? Does the office of the Inspector General
have the - have the ability to nail down what happened?
MILLER: So, those types of - you know, certainly they have the authority
to interview anyone inside the Justice Department they want to. They can`t
subpoena Rudy Giuliani and make him come testify, but they can talk to any
FBI agent, any prosecutor. But a leak and, you know, finding out who
leaked that information is very hard to do. Even if you can show that an
FBI agent talked to a reporter at a given time because you subpoenaed the
FBI agent`s phone records. You don`t know what they talked about. So, I
think we`re going to have a hard time proving that.
And you`re right, there was – you know, it`s clear that there was
something deeply wrong inside the FBI both with Comey`s behavior and with
the leaks that are coming out. And I think honestly, it`s one of the
reasons why, going forward – you know, the FBI is continuing to probe
Donald Trump over his ties with Russia, purported ties with Russia, we know
that`s been reported a number of times, and it`s hard to know - it`s hard
to have confidence that the FBI after you saw how they leaked concerned –
time after time about Clinton and now that Comey is under investigation,
how they can fairly investigate Trump with all this swirling around them.
HAYES: All right, Matthew Miller, thanks for joining us, appreciate it.
Coming up, republicans stage an overnight offensive to start the repeal of
Obamacare. Will it work? I will ask Senator Bernie Sanders ahead.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I)VERMONT: Up to 30 million Americans will lose
their health care with many thousands dying as a result. Because you have
no health insurance and you can`t go to a doctor or a hospital, you die.
HAYES: Buried in the avalanche of news to cover yesterday was a
significant development on what is most certainly the biggest policy fight
currently brewing in Washington, the on-going effort to repeal the
Affordable Care Act. During his long awaited press conference, President-
elect Trump had this to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We`re going to be submitting, as soon as our secretary is approved,
almost simultaneously, shortly thereafter, a plan. It will be repeal and
replace. It will be essentially simultaneously. It will be various
segments you understand but will mostly likely be on the same day or the
same week, but probably the same day, could be the same hour.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Not only the President-elect Trump commit his administration to
introducing their own replace plans, he also wants a new plan implemented
almost simultaneously, perhaps the same hour, to repeal of Obamacare, which
is already under way. But that is much harder to pull off than it may
look. And one of the people who`ll be fighting to make sure republicans
don`t succeed is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who joins me next.
HAYES: Last night, while most people on the eastern sea board were asleep,
members of the Senate were up past 1:00 in the morning voting in what they
referred to as a vote-a-rama, which would be cute, but for the substance of
it. Republicans passed a budget resolution to begin the process of
repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Along the way, Senate Democrats forced them to take a series of roll call
votes on amendment after amendment designed to get their opponents on the
record opposing widely popular features of the ACA, and to that extent
their protest worked. One by one, Republicans voted on the record to
repeal some of the most popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act,
provisions we should note, that they previously vowed not to do away with,
things like being able to stay on your parents` insurance until you`re 26,
pre-existing condition coverage, preserving funding for rural hospitals.
The Senate also voted down some other popular health care provisions like
an amendment that would protect access to birth control and preventative
for women, and another that protected the children`s health insurance
They even killed an amendment aimed at reducing the cost of prescription
drugs that had enough Republican support to pass, but died because too many
Democrats defected. In the end, the budget resolution paving the way for
the repeal of Obamacare passed 51-48 without a single Democratic vote and
only one Republican, Rand Paul, abstaining. All this sets up for the big
And one of the people who will be elbow deep in that fight, Senator Bernie
Sanders who joins me now.
So, Senator, can you explain to me what last night was about? My
understanding is this is them setting up a budget process, essentially, so
they can do this without having to clear the filibuster and go
through what`s known as reconciliation?
SANDERS: Exactly. This is the – this is precursor for them to come back
in a certain period of time and then repeal completely the Affordable Care
Act and that`s what last night was about.
And the point that many of us made last night is that doing that, repealing
the Affordable Care Act, without having any alternative will be an absolute
disaster for working families and the middle-class. What that will mean is
that 20 million plus people will lose their health insurance. They will
now have the option of privatizing Medicare, making it to a voucher
program, devastating cuts in Medicaid, which will impact not only low
income families, but middle income families who use Medicaid to pay nursing
home care for their parents and, by the way, it will raise the price of
prescription drugs for senior citizens.
And on top of all that, repealing the Affordable Care Act will provide a
$300 billion tax break
for the top 2 percent.
HAYES: Yeah, people – one of the things John Harwood wrote about this
today, people don`t recognize how much of the actual act is funded by taxes
on the rich and those will be repealed under any repeal plan.
Here`s my question for you, so Democrats learned the hard way how difficult
it is to wade into this policy area with a lot of different vested
interests, a lot of people`s lives on the line, a lot of fear about change.
They learned, we watched, how difficult it was to put that thing together.
Do the same political laws of gravity operate here against the Republicans?
If they start taking away poor children`s health, young people on their
parents, I mean, are they going to start running into walls of opposition?
SANDERS: Well, Chris, I don`t think it works quite like that because the
Democrats had a different goal.
What many of us believe is that we should guarantee health care to all
people like every other major country on Earth. And how you get there and
do it in a cost effective way and how you take on the insurance companies
and the drug companies, that`s tough stuff, but that is not where the
Republicans are coming from, that`s not their goal at all. In fact, their
goal is to protect the interest of the insurance industry and the
So if it happens that many millions more people lose their health
insurance, well, those
are by and large poor people, they don`t vote or if they do vote they`re
not going to vote for Republicans. Not a great concern. They`re not going
to make as many campaign contributions. Children don`t vote. What`s there
to worry about?
HAYES: So, you think this? I mean, it`s interesting, because I`ve been
tracking these votes, right, and one of the things we`ve seen is Dean
Heller, who is a kind of key vote in all of this, obviously this is a small
majority, they only have three votes they can lose and on some amendments
lost Dean Heller, who is the Republican from Nevada. He`s up in two years
in a state that Hillary Clinton won. Collins has defected. You don`t
think they start saying we`re going to kick 25-year-olds off their
insurance and you might be banned for pre-existing condition that there`s
not hell to pay when they go home for recess?
SANDERS: Yes, I think some of them are beginning to catch on that the
problem might be more complicated than just saying we are repealing
Affordable Care Act, wow, aren`t we great.
Then it will occur to some of them that when 20 or 30 million people lose
their health insurance and you raise the price of prescription drugs for
seniors, they may have to start answering some questions.
HAYES: It also strikes me, they`ve made a bunch of promises that they
can`t all keep, right? So part of last night was sort of exposing that a
lot of popular things they said they won`t touch. They`re willing to vote
against. You have the incoming president-elect who says we`re going to
take care of
everyone, and no one is going to lose their coverage and we`re going to
reduce drug prices. And then you look at the kinds of plans that say
Representative Price, who is going to run HHS, you know, would violate all
of that. I mean, can they square their promises with what they want to do?
SANDERS: Chris, you`re suggesting that there may be some contradictions in
what is unfolding.
SANDERS: Well, we eagerly await Mr. Trump`s magical plan by which he`s
going to provide
cost-effective health care to every American. I eagerly await the
presentation of that plan. And I eagerly await how they`re going to return
insurance control to the states and maintain patient protection
policies like preexisting conditions and making sure there is not a cap on
what insurance companies can reimburse people for who have expensive
medical needs. I eagerly await all of those details.
But, you know what, these guys have had six years to work on that plan.
They detested the Affordable Care Act from day one. Do you think they
really have been working on a plan that will
improve the Affordable Care Act? I think not.
HAYES: All right, Senator Bernie Sanders, I appreciate your time tonight.
Thank you very much.
SANDERS: Thanks you.
HAYES: Still to come, more from that interview with Vice President Joe
Biden. Hear his candid thoughts on the businessmen turned President-elect
Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts right after this break.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, Dr. Ben Carson testified before the senate today
as Donald Trump`s nominee for secretary of housing and urban development.
Now, Dr. Carson was not asked the question that I would have asked, which
is the following –
Dr. Carson if I had spent 30 years setting housing policy and showed up in
your operating room, would
you let me operate?
But Carson did face a variety of questions. And in the aftermath of the
president-elect`s announcement of toothless measures regarding his
innumerable potential conflicts of interest, Carson got this pointed
question from Senator Elizabeth Warren.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: It`s not about your good faith,
that`s not my concern, my concern is whether or not among the billions of
dollars that you will be responsible for handing out in grants and loans,
can you just assure us that not one dollar will go to benefit either the
president-elect or his family?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Carson`s answer is Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: So Ben Carson, nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban
Development asked today if he could assure the public that billions of
dollars in HUD money would never benefit the business interests of real
estate developer Donald Trump or Trump`s children. Carson answered with
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. BEN CARSON, HUD SECRETARY NOMINEE: I will manage things in a way that
benefits the American people, that is going to be the goal.
WARREN: To the best you understand that.
CARSON: If there happens to be an extraordinarily good program that`s
working for millions of people and it turns out that someone that you`re
targeting is going to gain $10 from it, am I going to say no, the rest of
you Americans can`t have it? I think logic and common sense probably would
be the best way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In other words, no guarantee from Ben Carson.
Senator Warren pointed out why, in the case of a president-elect who still
refuses to release his
tax returns and still refuses to divest, Carson cannot possibly answer her
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN: The problem is that you can`t assure us that HUD money – not of
$10 varieties, but of multimillion dollar varieties, will not end up in the
He knows, he, the president-elect, knows, what will benefit him and his
family financially, but the public doesn`t, which means he can divert
taxpayer money into his own pockets without anyone knowing about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY : There are important rules and
regulations that are on the books, but what`s also important is that
standard that`s set at the very top and that`s why President Obama did
undertake the extraordinary step of essentially liquidating all his
assets, plowing them into Treasuries. That wasn`t a smart financial
decision, because that coincided
with a dramatic reduction in interest rates, which hurt his return, but
ultimately that was a good decision for the country because there was no
question about whether or not he had a financial motive to make a
particular decision. He didn`t.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The White House today reiterating the stark difference between what
President Obama did coming into office and what President-elect Trump is
doing coming into office.
President Obama divested his financial interests, as did hundreds of people
who joined the administration, some of them with far, far more wealth than
the president. And they did that, we should be clear, at great personal
financial costs to themselves.
Remember, President Obama won an election in the middle of the financial
meltdown of 2008, the markets were in freefall. The day the president took
office was reportedly the worst inauguration day in American history for
stock prices. The Dow was just under 8,000, which would suggest anyone
liquidating their assets at the time was likely taking a bath on them.
Now, on the eve of Trump`s ascendancy, a completely different economic
environment. The Dow is just under 20,000. The markets have been hitting
record highs for months, and yet even in such a beneficial atmosphere,
Donald Trump still refuses to sell his holdings in his company. His lawyer
explaining yesterday it`s just too great a financial sacrifice.
Instead, he`s placing his business in a trust run by his sons, a measure so
out of the norms of
government ethics and the practices of generations of presidents and the
people who serve them, that the head of the non-partisan and independent
Office of Government Ethics, a man named Walter Shaub, addressed the
president-elect`s conflicts directly with a remarkably brave and earnest
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTER SHAUB, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS: You don`t hear about
ethics when things are going well, you`ve been hearing a lot about ethics
I need to talk about ethics today because the plan the president has
announced doesn`t meet the standards that the best of his nominees are
meeting and that every president in the past four decades has met.
The idea of setting up a trust to hold his operating businesses adds
nothing to the equation. This is not a blind trust, it`s not even close.
I think Politico called this a half-blind trust, but it`s not even halfway
blind. The only thing it has in common with a blind trust is the label,
His sons are still running the business. And, of course, he knows what he
owns. His own attorney said today he can`t unknow that he owns Trump
Tower, the same is true of his other holdings. The idea of limiting direct
communication about the business is wholly inadequate. That`s not how a
blind trust works. There`s not supposed to be any information at all.
In developing the current plan, the president-elect didn`t have the benefit
of OGE`s guidance so, to be clear, OGE`s primary recommendation is that he
divest his conflicting assets. Nothing short of divestiture will resolve
I appreciate that divestiture can be costly, but the president-elect would
not be alone in making that sacrifice. I`ve been involved in just about
every presidential nomination in the past 10 years. I`ve also been
involved in the ethics review of presidents, vice presidents, and most top
White House officials. I`ve seen the sacrifices these individuals have had
It`s important to understand that the president is now entering a world of
public service. He`s going to be asking his own appointees to make
sacrifices. He`s going to be asking our men and women in uniform to risk
their lives in conflicts around the world.
So, no, I don`t think divestiture is too high a price to pay to be the
president of the United States of America.
In closing, I would like to add that I`m happy to offer my assistance and
the assistance of my staff if he decides to adjust his plan. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: For the final time as president, I am pleased to award our nation`s
honor: the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Vice President Joe Biden genuinely moved today as President Obama
surprised him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom with distinction,
that`s an honor President Obama has never bestowed before, an honor the
vice president now shares with only three other people in recent history –
Pope John Paul II, President Ronald Reagan and General Colin Powell.
The surprise ceremony capped a day spent talking to the news media,
including a wide-ranging
interview with our own Andrea Mitchell.
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: Looking back now, President Obama said that he
could have defeated Donald Trump. Could Joe Biden have defeated Donald
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Oh, I don`t know. I
don`t know. I`m not going to speculate on that.
MITCHELL: In your heart of hearts, the criticism is there was a lack of an
economic message, that`s your ballpark. Pennsylvania, the Rust Belt, your
home territory. Regrets?
BIDEN: I have no regret in the sense that did I make the wrong decision.
I made the right decision. And – but do I regret that my point of view is
not going to be reflected in the next administration because we have Mr.
Trump? Yeah, I do regret that.
MITCHELL: I mean, he says that he can get Obamacare repealed and replaced
on the same day in the same hour. What is he missing here?
BIDEN: I`m much older than you, but remember the expression you would have
when you passed around your yearbook to be signed and someone would say
“lots of luck in your senior
year.” Lots of luck in your senior year, Mr. Trump.
He lost the popular vote and but for 175,000 votes in three states it would
be a different outcome. So there`s a thousand reasons why you could
attribute our candidate`s loss. It could be anything from the failure to
speak to the constituency I`m giving credit for having a relationship with,
working class and middle-class people, it could be what happened with the
FBI. It could be a whole range of things, but this is one election,
Andrea, where I don`t think the issues really intruded.
I`ll lay you 8-5 that you ask any informed person in the news media and say
“what was Hillary`s position on free college? Can you explain it? What
was Hillary`s position on helping people with child care?” Those issues
never got into the game.
All the outrageous things that were said and done by the candidate sucked
the oxygen out of the air so there`s never a discussion about the economic
issues. It never got there. It wasn`t the press`s fault.
I mean if you get a chance to have to talk about whether or not a candidate
groped somebody or whether or not the other candidate`s position is how
they fund college tuition, what`s going to get in the news is whether or
not somebody gropes somebody. And so we never got a discussion.
MITCHELL: One of the big issues is he said drain the swamp. Now he is –
yesterday he repeated that he`s not going to release his taxes, ever, and
says he doesn`t need a blind trust. He`s going to just turn it over to the
sons. Has he done enough?
The Office of Government Ethics,which is non-partisan, says what he did is
BIDEN: No, I don`t think he`s done enough. And he may sink in the swamp.
If you don`t drain it, you sink in it.
It`s – look…
MITCHELL: You`re one of the – with all due respect, sir, one of the
poorest people to ever emerge from public office. You were one of the
poorest guys in the Senate. You have got a house, I don`t know what other
assets you have. Can you – he said that he could run his business as well
as run the government, the laws do say he can.
BIDEN: I don`t doubt he could but you shouldn`t run both. Are you going
to be president or
are you going to be a businessman? You don`t do both. You ran for the
most coveted office in the world, the most important office in the world,
the thing that the American public looks to most for their security,
opportunity, guarantees and focus on your job. That`s the job.
I`ve found it bizarre to talk about well I could have made it a $2 billion
deal. I could have done both, but I decided not to. As if you`re doing
the country a favor.
I just think it`s – look, this is a place where the public is going to
decide whether or not the failure to divest, the failure to meet what were
considered to be the basic minimum ethical standards of
disclosure. And if the public turns around and 50 percent say no problem,
or if 80 percent say this is a
big problem, that`s going to alter the outcome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A really remarkable interview with Andrea Mitchell with Joe Biden
there and a sort of amazing moment earlier today when the president offered
him that – or gave him that Medal of Freedom. It`s very rare you see in
public life people genuinely surprised in public moments, unguarded and
surprised. We got to see that today.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow show starts right now.
Good evening Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
Copy: Content and programming copyright 2017 NBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2017 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.